HILLSBOROUGH, Co. -- Three suspects are facing federal racketeering charges. They're accused of burglarizing several stores across Florida. ABC Action News uncovered how these suspects allegedly created their own fake business in order to sell the stolen property.
A major series of racketeering, involving burglary across county lines, is now over.
"I'm so glad they got caught," said Chris Tummond, operations manager for Load Runner Trailers, "I hope justice serves them well."
His business is one of at least 15 targeted. According to arrest warrants, Jon Perkins and Mary and Jon Goodman, brother and sister, face federal charges.
"A little cold inside. It makes you want to give up on humanity," said Tummond of the moment he saw suspects using a powered grinding tool to cut the locks and enter the property. They took off with two dump trailers worth nearly $15,000.
Investigators say Jon Goodman set up a fake business called Probuilt Trailers and then actually registered it with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration which "granted the business the ability to create and issue VINS," stated the warrant.
Goodman would remove or obliterate the original VIN, affix his own company VIN markings and decals and sell the stolen property. The property sold via Craigslist. The purchasers would then unknowingly register the stolen trailers with the new fraudulent VINs and documents.
The warrant notes that Perkins allowed the defendant to store the trailers at his residence knowing that they were stolen and participated in the trading of stolen property for personal profit.
Tummond wonders how NHTSA, who gave them the power to create VINs, didn't catch them.
"I think they need to tighten up their scrutiny on people," he said.
We asked the same and were told: "NHTSA does not comment on open or ongoing litigations."
The loss continues for those who bought the stolen trailers.
"When the sheriff's department found this trailer, they confiscated it," explained Tummond, "And they are just out, they bought stolen property."
Investigators identified the stolen trailers via "hidden VIN markings." Meanwhile, Tummond says this temporary loss won't stop any of the hard working employees at Load Runner Trailers.
"I'm going to continue to work hard and make money because that's the American way," he said.